Inspiration can stem from many places. For Rachel Beider, a graduate of Swedish Institute’s Massage Therapy program, it took traveling thousands of miles to discover her life’s passion. Today, Rachel is an entrepreneur, speaker, educator, mentor, and proud owner of two clinical massage studios. If you are thinking about a career in the healthcare industry, you’ll love Rachel’s inspiring journey!
How Rachel found her passion
After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, Rachel left on a backpacking adventure with friends throughout India, Cambodia, and Vietnam. While in Thailand, she came across a Thai massage class and decided to sign up for the 10-day program. Because she has a history of scoliosis, Rachel knows the challenge of living with pain. Smbraced how massage can help people gain a better quality of life.
While taking the classes, she reflected on her dancing days, saying she “fell in love with the movement” of Thai massage and the nurturing qualities of the art. From Thailand, she traveled to Vietnam, where she met doctors and other professionals in the industry. It was there that she decided to research massage therapy programs back home in the United States. Eventually, she chose Swedish Institute for its stellar reputation and sent her application from Vietnam. The rest, she said, is history.
Rachel graduated ten years ago with her massage therapy degree from Swedish Institute. She says her career has catapulted to heights she never imagined.
“The Massage Therapy program at Swedish Institute provided me with an excellent education and challenged me at every level,” Rachel said. “I love science, and the rigorous program empowered me to become more aware of anatomy and how the body works,” Rachel said she couldn’t wait to hit the ground running with her new life path as a massage therapist. “There’s an overwhelming demand for massage and an increasing need for more massage therapists,” she said. “The job opportunities are everywhere.”
Becoming an Entrepreneur
After working several jobs, Rachel knew she wanted to venture out and start her own business. “I didn’t know the first thing about business,” Rachel said, “but I was determined to make this new dream a reality.” After building a solid clientele, she opened Massage Williamsburg, the first of two locations in Brooklyn.
“It was important to open a clinical practice in a warm setting,” Rachel explained. She says the need for massage is exploding before our eyes, and it’s not for the reasons you may think. “Massage was once thought of as a luxury experience for those who could afford it,” she states. “Today, it’s becoming more of a lifestyle regimen for those suffering from acute and chronic pain.”
Rachel explains how technology plays a significant role in the growing trend of massage therapy. “The more technology advances, the more sedentary we become,” said Rachel. “Let’s face it – we’re either slouched in front of a computer screen with hunched backs and rounded shoulders or our necks are down staring at our phones. Something is bound to hurt.”
The silver lining, she says, is how massage therapy is rapidly being recognized by the healthcare industry as a significant way to relieve pain and stress in a relaxed and therapeutic way. “It’s making us take a closer look at our quality of life and more aware of our physical health,” Rachel said.
Taking Her Career to the Next Level
After doing market research, Rachel saw a niche and opened Massage Greenpoint, her second location in Brooklyn. Rachel’s success grew on many levels, and she says none of it came easy. To this day, she has yet to pay for any advertising. She prides herself on staying ahead of the curve on trends, social media, and learning the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Analytics. “Luck is preparation-meeting-opportunity,” Rachel said humbly. “It’s all about building on your strengths.” To take her career to another level, Rachel formed Wellness Business Consulting, a company where she mentors health and wellness professionals looking to grow their private practices.
At 33 years old, Rachel is the owner and CEO of her two massage therapy locations and serves as a consultant to a wide range of budding entrepreneurs across the country. In light of her impressive success, Rachel says giving back to her community through organizations such as Sanctuary for Families is one of the most important ways she uses her skills to make a difference.
“We make time every month to offer massage therapy to victims in crisis,” Rachel said. “It’s some of the best work we do.”
How you can reach the same level of success
For anyone who is considering a career in massage therapy, or for students already enrolled in a program, it’s important to keep your eye on long-term goals and to believe in yourself. “I’m extremely grateful to Swedish Institute for giving me a solid foundation and education,” Rachel said. “Getting an education is an investment in yourself and your future. It’s money well spent.” Rachel loves her career and said helping her clients feel better is rewarding and satisfying. “It’s an amazing feeling knowing I’m the best part of my client’s day, every day. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
So if you have an interest in Massage Therapy and want to learn more about our programs, contact us today!